You’re busting out of your closets, using every inch of cabinet space in the kitchen and longing for another bedroom. It’s time to upsize.
But no matter how appealing a larger home might be, it’s important to look before you leap, as “upsizing can hold pitfalls for unwary buyers,” notes Realtor.com.
Here are 3 important questions for those considering moving to a larger home:
Do you really need more space? Look carefully at your current situation. Perhaps rearranging—or eliminating— furniture can open up the space you’d like. “People have a habit of buying too many chairs and larger-than-needed sofas for company. But you can always use foldable chairs for that,” Lior Rachmany, a storage specialist, told Realtor.com. Plan for daily use, rather than special occasions.
Can you afford it? Moving to a larger space will likely mean higher utility and maintenance bills. Additionally, if you plan on taking out a variable mortgage, you might find yourself stretched farther than expected, should interest rates rise. A larger home will also need more furniture.
And finally, “bigger homes mean larger property taxes, a larger mortgage and larger homeowner insurance,” Rachmany notes. And larger payments can impinge on other lifestyle issues, such as the number of vacations you can afford, how much you can save for retirement, etc.
“Only upsize your home if you have the budget, realistically for it,” says Rachmany.
Will your space requirements change in the near future? Do you have kids that will be going off to college in a year or two, or an extended family member who might not be with you long-term? Perhaps you’ll find yourself wanting to downsize in just a few years. In that case, staying where you are might be the best decision.